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WASHINGTON — If fans in Las Vegas seem a bit spoiled by the rapid success of
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, rest assured that the Washington, D.C. area
has paid its dues.

The Capitals, who host Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday night,
are carrying the hopes of a city that hasn’t seen a Big Four sports team play
for a championship since, well, the Capitals way back in 1998 when they were
swept by the Detroit Red Wings.

“I think everybody (is) excited in Washington,” Capitals captain Alex
Ovechkin told NHL.com. “It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be interesting. It’s
going to be hard. That’s why we worked so hard to be in this spot and be in this
moment.”

With the series tied 1-1, Washington carries the momentum into Game 3 and got
a boost Friday when center Evgeny Kuznetsov, who left Game 2 with an upper-body
injury in the first period, took part in an optional practice.

“He wanted to come back out there in the game Sean
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, I think, but it just wasn’t in the best interest,
and I think him and the medical staff made the right call,” Washington’s Jay
Beagle told The Washington Post on Friday. “He says he’s feeling better today,
and that’s a great sign.”

Kuznetsov, who regularly centers a line with Ovechkin and Tom Wilson, is the
NHL’s top postseason scorer with 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points in 21
games.

Washington is 4-5 at home in the playoffs but did win a huge Game 6 at
Capital One Arena against Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference Finals.

“I love playing at home,” Capitals center Lars Eller told NHL.com. “There’s
no reason we can’t play our best game (Saturday) night.”

Vegas enters Game 3 looking to overcome the frustration of “The Save” as it’s
being referred to. Goaltender Braden Holtby’s amazing stick save on Alex Tuch’s
potential game-tying one-timer with two minutes remaining in Game 2 is already
being compared locally to Washington’s greatest sports moments.

Holtby, who also stoned Vegas during a five-on-three advantage in Game 2, is
13-7 with a 2.19 GAA and .921 save percentage since replacing Philipp Grubauer
in the second game of the first round Seattle Seahawks Jerseys
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, but the save on Tuch dominated the conversation after Game
2.

“We know it’s never going to be easy to win a Stanley Cup,” Vegas coach
Gerard Gallant told the team’s website. “So you’ve just got to focus on the next
game. You don’t worry about the last game … “

Vegas is 3-0 after a loss in the playoffs and 3-0 in Game 3s. They bring an
8-2 road playoff record into Washington.

“I think we try to play the same game no matter what building we’re playing
in,” Gallant said. “It worked very well in the postseason. Try to play the same
game, play a quick, fast game, an up-tempo game.”

Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has a 3.56 goals-against average and an .870
save percentage in the two games. He posted a 1.68 GAA and .947 save percentage
in the first three rounds of the playoffs.

“There were maybe a few unfortunate goals throughout this series,” Fleury
told NHl.com. “I don’t think I’ve sweat it too much so far.”

Knights defenseman Shea Theodore said his team needs to be more aware of
Washington’s physicality, which helped it swing the Tampa Bay series and has
carried over into the Finals.

“They’re a fast group and their physical,” Theodore told the team’s website.
“They finish all their checks and I think that’s something we have to be a bit
more aware of. We have to use our speed and we have to turn over less pucks
definitely.”

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Corey Liuget is still trying to get past the worst
part of his NFL career.

The Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle returned to the team Monday after
serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on
performance-enhancing substances.

Even though Liuget has served his suspension http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-johnny-townsend-jersey ,
he said he still hasn’t put it behind him.

“For my own sanity, just to get out there and play I think will be great for
me,” Liuget said. “It was definitely tough watching the guys out there and
knowing that I could contribute but I’m happy to be back.”

Liuget took full responsibility for the suspension when it was announced in
March, but he has sued his former personal trainer Ian Danney. Liuget claims in
the lawsuit that it was Danney who injected him with a substance that Liuget
thought was an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. Instead, he tested
positive because the substance is banned by the FDA and NFL.

The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles on Sept. 18. Peter Ginsberg, who is
representing Liuget, said nothing imminent is developing with the case.

Messages and emails left with Danney’s office in Arizona were not returned.
An attorney for Danney is not listed on the district court case docket.

“It was emotional. I have to be more careful of who I hire and trust,” Liuget
said. “I do love this game and to be messed up like that is hard.”

Liuget went to San Jose to work out during his suspension. He said he did an
hour of on-field work daily, concentrating on getting quicker out of his stance
off the line, hand placement and honing his pass-rushing skills.

Liuget’s return could not come at a more opportune time for the Chargers
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whose pass rush has struggled. Defensive end Joey Bosa has not played the first
four games due to a foot injury, which has allowed teams to double-team Melvin
Ingram.

The Chargers go into Sunday’s game against Oakland with eight sacks, which is
tied for 22nd in the league. They had 12 after the first four games last season.
They are also 26th in quarterback hurries (19) and tied for 22nd in quarterback
pressures (41), according to SportRadar.

Coach Anthony Lynn said he expects Liuget to immediately return to the lineup
as long as he is in playing shape.

“He’s an established veteran. We know what he can do,” Lynn said. “It’s
unfortunate that he got suspended, but we will throw him back in as soon as we
can.”

Liuget said he is happy to be returning to a team that is at .500 at the
quarter mark of the season. The Chargers lost their first four games last season
before winning nine of their final 12 and missing the playoffs by one game. They
have not been at .500 or better after four games since 2015.

“Knowing that one game cost us last year, it is good knowing that we already
have two in the books. We can’t put our faith in someone else’s hands,” he
said.

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